Doctors and providers who treat this condition


Foreign Object In Pharynx, Removed

Objects that are swallowed can get stuck in the throat (pharynx). This is most common in children, but it can happen in adults as well. Objects that may become stuck include food, bones, coins, or other small items. You (or your child) had an object stuck in the throat. A stuck object can cause coughing, choking, pain when swallowing, or trouble swallowing. If the object is dangerous (such as a battery) or blocks breathing, it may need emergency removal.

The object has been removed. You are being sent home to recover. For a day or so, it may continue to feel like something is stuck in the throat. It may also hurt to swallow. This is because the throat tissues were irritated and injured. Symptoms should start to get better as the tissue heals.

Home care

  • Removing a stuck object often requires a sedative medication. This causes drowsiness. After receiving sedation, the patient should not drive or use dangerous equipment for at least 24 hours.

  • If swallowing is painful, have liquids and soft foods until it gets better. 

  • Gargling with salt solution (1/2 teaspoon of table salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water) may help soothe a sore throat. Spit out the solution--do not swallow it. Ensure that children do not swallow the solution.

  • To prevent stuck objects in the future:

    • Cut food into small pieces. Chew well.

    • Be careful when eating fish or other food with bones.

    • Be careful with foods that may become stuck, such as raisins, grapes, nuts, hot dog skin, and hard candies. Avoid giving these to young children.

    • Don't let your child play with small objects that can be swallowed, such as small toys, balloons, buttons, or coins.

    • If pills are an issue, ask the healthcare provider for smaller pills or liquid medicine.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your doctor as advised.

When to seek medical advice

Call the healthcare provider if any of the following occur:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by the healthcare provider

  • Throat pain that doesn't improve or gets worse

  • Continued trouble swallowing, choking, or other symptoms

  • Inability to open the mouth wide due to pain

  • Inability to eat or drink, or refusal to eat or drink

  • Drooling or inability to swallow saliva

  • Trouble breathing, noisy breathing, or a muffled voice

  • Increased pain with neck movement

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Abdominal pain

  • Bloody bowel movements


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